AJ Styles vs Shawn Michaels Was Planned For Wrestlemania, HBK Reveals

Hamish Woodward

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We almost saw Shawn Michaels come out of retirement for one more match that wouldn’t have been terrible! Yes, we were robbed of not having our memories of the Heart Break Kid ruined by the image of him struggling to hold together a match including an aging The Undertaker, a retired politician that used to be Kane and a horrifically injured Triple H.

Shawn Michaels last match involved all three of the men mentioned in Saudi Arabia, when DX fought the Brother’s of Destruction in a match personally requested by the Saudi Royal Family (allegedly). The match went horribly wrong after Triple H suffered a horrific injury that left the long-retired Shawn Michaels to control the match, in a match that inexplicably lasted 27 minutes and failed to impress. It was rated as the fifth worst match EVER in the WWE and hopefully will never be revisited.

He has since stayed retired and taken over the running of NXT from his best friend and former teammate Triple H. The Game suffered a cardiac event which forced him into retirement last year, and in his absence HBK took over NXT. Triple H has since taken over the running of WWE from Vince McMahon, after the latter retired in 2022 and Michaels has been given the run of the developmental territory ever since.

Speaking to Sam Roberts on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Shawn Michaels revealed that WWE asked him to wrestle AJ Styles at Wrestlemania 33. The former WWE Champion had not wrestled since 2010 at that point and had already turned down a match with his former student Daniel Bryan at that point. Unsure if he could put on a good show, wishing he was 10 years younger, HBK turned down the offer.

“I guess I’m breaking something with you and I don’t even know if I should, but I could have had that match. They didn’t have an opponent for AJ at WrestleMania. I said that I hadn’t been asked because I hadn’t—but then I was. … I said, ‘I wish that young man was here 10 years ago, man. I honestly do. I think he’s very talented.'”

AJ Styles would not miss out on his Wrestlemania payday after missing out on wrestling Shawn Michaels. The TNA Legend wrestled Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania in a match that was groan-inducing when announced, but turned out to be one of the best matches that night. You can watch the two WWE legends battle it out in the video below.

Shawn Michaels has since claimed he is “at peace” with his retirement, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him wrestling against after his disastrous return in Saudi Arabia.

“I’ve always been at 100 percent peace with the decision I made and honestly, I don’t know if I ever grasped how beneficial it was to feel that way. I’ve seen so many people before and after struggle with it, I consider myself so fortunate for being able to have that, because I really do now see how rare and special it is.

“So on top of being OK with it, I’m also thankful that I am because I can see that for some folks it is hard. And, again, that’s a shame. All of the people that do [struggle], whether it’s Flair or ‘Taker; they’ve had spectacular matches in their careers and it’s unbelievably special to us that have seen it, but it has to be them as individuals that have to be content with it.

“It doesn’t matter how the fans or their peers feel, that individual has to feel peace with whatever it is that they’re doing or decision they are making and that’s the most important thing through all of this.”

WWE also wanted to book Daniel Bryan vs Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXX, which you can read about below.

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